Welcome to the D4 Child Language Lab. The director of the lab is Dr. Janna Oetting and the Project Manager is Dr. Christy Wynn Moland. This lab supports faculty and student led research and community outreach on topics related to children's development of language and the nature of various neurodevelopmental language disorders in children. Unique to our lab, we study these topics in different dialects of English to reduce educational and health disparities among children.
A small percentage of children in ALL dialects and languages, struggle to learn language as quickly as their typically developing siblings and friends. The name of this clinical condition varies and can include Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and Developmental Language Impairment (DLD). Our lab studies this clinical condition in various dialects, including General American English, African American English, Southern White English, and Cajun/Creole English. We also study typically developing children's acquisition and use of these fascinating dialects.
Speech-Language Pathologists administer a variety of tests and measures to screen and diagnose children with SLI and other developmental language disorders. Our lab evaluates existing tests and measures and works to develop new tools that are valid and reliable for all children, regardless of their language, dialect, and monolingual vs. bilingual learning profile.
Through our free Tips about Talk workshops, we help adults (parents, teachers, childcare providers) and teenagers (older siblings, babysitters) better understand the language needs of children. We also teach adults and teenagers language facilitation techniques such as self talk, parallel talk, and toy talk.